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Aengus O Snoidaigh TD raises Tesco workers' plight in Dáil and calls for cross party support for Sinn Féin's Industrial Relations’ Bill.

21 February, 2017 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Commenting today on the ongoing Tesco dispute Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh said that it was “disgraceful that in this day and age workers have to strike because their rights are not enshrined in legislation".

The Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South Central raised the matter recently in the Dáil during a Topical Issues’ debate and he also has spent time with the striking workers in Ballyfermot.

He continued: “The decision of Tesco workers to go out on strike was not taken lightly and rather it was forced on them in an effort to protect their basic employment rights.
“Tescos response to the workers’ claims is nothing short of disgraceful. Their willingness to tear up their terms and conditions is yet another example of the race to the bottom in the way workers’ wages and other basic entitlements are being targeted by employers whose only concern is their bottom line.

“Clearly the State's job has a responsibility to protect the rights of workers and prevent companies, especially those as profitable as Tescos, from slashing wages. The actions of Tesco’s are made all the worse as many of their employees are dependent on the State for top ups. It is a tactic that is becoming increasingly common as retailers and companies work towards forcing their workers to become dependent on the State rather than the company.

“In an effort to address these types of disputes, Sinn Féin’s workers’ rights spokesperson David Cullinane, TD, is today moving a Bill entitled the Industrial Relations (Right to Access) Bill. Its purpose is to allow trade unions to work out a reasonable time with an employer for access to trade union members when dealing with workplace issues such as collective agreements.

“The government and Fianna Fáil,” concluded Deputy Ó Snodaigh, “have an opportunity today to support the rights’ of workers, including the Tesco strikers by voting in favour of Deputy Cullinane’s Bill which would go some way in addressing unscrupulous employers exploiting the existing legislation to stymie unions.”

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